Hunter Walker translates the news:
Barack Obama is telling the feds to stop, like, totally freaking out, man, and take it easy on medical marijuana. Two Justice Department officials told the Associated Press that the Obama Administration will be sending out a three-page memo on Monday instructing federal prosecutors, the FBI, and the DEA not to harsh the buzz of stoners who aren't breaking state laws. [...] This new policy may be limited, but it certainly makes things much more mellow for pot clubs than they were under the Bush Administration when DEA agents regularly raided medical marijuana operations.
I really wish we could get past the stoner humor aspect of medical marijuana.
Look, no one enjoyed Pineapple Express as much as I did, but this is a serious issue. It's about Obama's conservative restoration of federalism; and it's about finding ways to help sick people manage their illness and pain in the most effective way possible. Boomers remember their college years and that's the prism through which they see this. But it's about basic freedoms, states' rights, and humane treatment of the ill. What's so hilarious about that?
The biggest threat to the end of Prohibition, meanwhile, is not the feds but cities like Los Angeles that have liberalized too quickly and too irresponsibly. Oakland shows what can and should be done: carefully managed, punctiliously maintained, medically serious dispensaries that keep a very clean line between them and criminal dealers. It would be a total tragedy if this propitious moment were derailed by excess.